Laura Kelly winning the governor election is a win for accessibility. Her platform hung on people’s accessibility of healthcare and access to resources “regardless of their zip code.” 

However, the most important part of Kelly’s platform was her emphasis on education.

Kelly’s win is huge for education in our state, and I think it’s time we took a beat and celebrated that.

Emporia State is home to the Teachers College and the National Memorial to Fallen Educators. 

It’s high time our teachers get the respect they deserve.

In high school, I had a teacher who, every single day, taught Introduction to Spanish, Spanish 1 through 5 and French 1 through 4, during seven class periods. Every class was stacked.

She wasn’t paid more for the work she did. She did it because she loved it, and she was one of the best Spanish educators I’ve ever known. 

One of my best friends in the entire world has a big, rainbow heart and has known she was meant to be a teacher from age five. 

She isn’t in it for the money. She’s doing it because she loves it.

But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t start paying our teachers better.

Too often teachers have to use their personal money for the classroom, because the state funding isn’t there.

I had a high school teacher who often contributed personal funds to student trips to compete in forensics tournaments. Without her, we couldn’t have gone. 

These stories are not isolated incidences. They are normal. It’s no wonder that Kansas has a hard time keeping teachers in the state.

It’s time we value education and respect our educators. It has become too common to scapegoat educators as the fault for why our country is in disarray. 

But they’re doing everything they can to make our country better.

Educators are the people who build up the next generation. They are the people who make sure children are motivated and encouraged to have dreams and make them real. 

Teachers are the reason everybody else has a job.

Laura Kelly understands this. She is ready to make Kansas a state worth retaining teachers.

So while you’re walking to class and you see a teacher, current or future, thank them for doing one of the most thankless jobs in existence.

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